KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY FROM ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT
End of Watch: March 25, 1928
Mistaken for Burglar, Officer Joseph Etriss, an active city detective, rushing into a house to find a man who had beaten his wife, Mrs. Marie Etriss he was killed with a shotgun in the hands of a man who says he thought the detective was a burglar. The slaying gave police a tragic problem to work out, for with the slayer under arrest and the man who attacked Mrs. Etriss at large police say Etriss in his rage and excitement, apparently dashed into the wrong house. Leonard Iannonie, forty-two 1808 S. 13th street the man who killed Etriss is held without bail for the Coroner together with six neighbors who are held as material witnesses.
Etriss who was thirty-six and lived at 1715 Wolf street. Died in his wife’s arms on the sidewalk in front of Iannonie’s home. He was the father of three children. Mrs. Etriss whose face had been bruised by her assailant who was presumably armed with a blackjack was almost hysterical as she recounted the events leading to the death of her husband. “I was worried about Joe being away from home so late”, she said “He was working on the Cross Keys Theatre murder and thought he had a clue in South Philadelphia.”
The case she referred to is the slaying of Max T. Harrison assistant manage of the Cross Keys Theatre, and the serious wounding of Miss Martha Yetter in an attempted holdup by youthful gunmen Friday night. When I reach the corner of 13th and Moore Street a man stepped up to me and made an insulting remark. I walked away as fast as I could and he followed me saying. I’ve seen murders before,” and the first thing I knew he had seized me by the hair and was pounding me repeatedly in the face.” Mrs. Etriss screams aroused the neighborhood and she ran toward her husband who was one of the first to arrive. Some one said her assailant had run into a house pointing in the direction of Iannonie’s home. Etriss broke in the door and a moment later tumbled down the steps with two charges of bullets in his chest and abdomen. He was dead when taken to St. Agnes Hospital.